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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 April, 2004, 14:26 GMT 15:26 UK
Child porn doctor banned for year
A consultant child psychiatrist has been banned from practising as a doctor for a year after admitting accessing child porn on his home computer.

Dr Julian Morrell, 41, a married father of two, was found guilty of serious professional misconduct at a hearing of the General Medical Council (GMC).

The GMC heard Morrell, of Banbury Road in Oxford, viewed up to four sites between January 1999 and January 2000.

He was a senior registrar at Park Hospital for Children, Headington.

It is important to recognise that accessing child pornography is seen by some as child abuse
Professor Ken Hobbs, GMC

Professor Ken Hobbs, chairman of the GMC professional conduct committee, delivering his ruling, said: "Doctors hold a privileged position in society and in order to maintain public confidence in the profession, are expected to behave in a professional manner at all times.

"The committee consider that it is particularly important for a doctor wishing to practise as a specialist in child and adolescent psychiatry to recognise that accessing child pornography is seen by some as child abuse."

Morrell left Park Hospital for Children in October 2001 to begin work as a consultant in child and adolescent psychiatry at the Berkshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

But he was sacked in January 2003 when his employers found out he had been arrested as part of Operation Ore, the British arm of an international inquiry into online child pornography.

He was not charged by Thames Valley Police as he had not downloaded images to his hard drive.

Berkshire Healthcare NHS Trust has written to the families of his former patients to attempt to reassure them, explaining that Morrell was dismissed immediately when allegations came to light.

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